Viral meningitis information, including a symptom guide, answering contagious questions, spinal tap information, and bacterial

Contagious Viral meningitis SymptomViral meningitis: symptom guide: Meningitis is a disease of the central nervous system. There are numerous types of meningitis and figuring out exactly which type is present is necessary before treatment can begin. The various strains of this condition include chronic, bacterial, spinal, viral, and more. Determining the cause often helps set the course for treatment; that is to say, if the meningitis is bacterial in nature, identifying the specific bacteria will dictate the specifics of the treatment plan.

Viral meningitis can be confused with other illnesses as well, because each individual symptom may also be associated with something else. Common symptoms include headache, fever, and problems with the neck or back. Some people, including some physicians, may initially figure that the symptoms are related to a severe case of the flu. However, this is dangerous because viral meningitis can advance and can become deadly, so it is very important to pinpoint what the exact condition is so that the patient can undergo treatment as soon as possible.

Is viral meningitis contagious?: Viral meningitis, as the name implies, is caused by a virus. This type of meningitis is less contagious than bacterial but it may still be contagious to some degree. Aseptic meningitis, on the other hand, is very contagious. Fortunately, it is also generally less serious than many of the other types of meningitis. Certain people are at greater risk for any type of meningitis; these include people who suffer from herpes and/or immune disorders, such as HIV or AIDS.

It is also common for there to be a meningitis outbreak in schools, so children tend to be susceptible as well because of their developing immune systems. Usually when this occurs, educational institutions and their districts may choose to cancel school to give the illness time to be dealt with. This is usually for a few days to a week, just as they do when there are severe flu outbreaks.

I know that a spinal tap is associated with viral meningitis, but how?: A spinal tap is a procedure in which fluid is withdrawn from the spine. This fluid is known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); after it is withdrawn, it is tested. This process is an essential step in the quest to properly diagnose meningitis and a specific type. The spinal tap provides key information for determining the specific diagnosis and creating a treatment plan.

Viral meningitis versus bacterial
Bacterial meningitis can be caused by various types of bacteria. Before treating bacterial meningitis, it is essential to identify the specific type of bacteria present because treatment options are chosen depending on the type of bacteria involved. This makes it a much different beast than viral meningitis. However, bacterial can usually be fought off by anti-bacterial drugs such as antibiotics, making it highly treatable. However, the consequences if untreated are more or less the same as viral meningitis. If untreated, it can be deadly. If caught on time, the condition doesn’t have to be so severe, so it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.